Collaboration results in better home for couple

Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Print Editor

A collaborative effort between Washington County Helping Hands, Inc. a local nonprofit, Baird Mobile Homes and the City of Salem Redevelopment Commission means a local couple will soon be in a much safer and more comfortable residence.

Tracey England, president of Helping Hands, said the group was contacted by John and Patty DeFord, who live on Caleb Street in Salem, seeking assistance with fixing up their home.

Helping Hands replaced Habitat for Humanity Washington County and is focused on making repairs to existing homes instead of constructing new ones. However, England said this was a situation that was beyond typical repairs.

When he and board member Amy Pickerill first met with the DeFords about two months ago, England said an examination of the home revealed “it was so deteriorated it wasn’t safe to live in.”

The question was how to help the couple. They feared the city would condemn the property and they would have nowhere to go.

England and the Helping Hands board began making contacts and exploring options. They learned the city was interested in seeing the structure removed for safety and appearances. The redevelopment commission had funds available to facilitate the couple’s move and had a party interested in purchasing the cleared lot. England also contacted Dean Humphrey, who owns Baird’s. Humphrey was willing to take a loss in this situation, selling a home they own in Southway Villa.

See the full story in The Salem Democrat.


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